Mountain View teen Rohun Saxena proved innovative thinking starts at an early age after recently receiving a LinkedIn Innovation Grant for his online social learning site, Eduko.
The 16-year-old high school junior at Mountain View High School began work on Eduko in June 2013. The idea behind Eduko (meaning "education" in Esperanto) is the demand for student tutors: the site is designed as a nonprofit education platform to connect students who need academic help with students that can provide help in return for earning volunteering hours.
Eduko captured the attention of social media powerhouse LinkedIn in September when it received LinkedIn's Innovation Grant, which aims to support new, unique programs in the social sector by awarding them $10,000. Eduko was chosen as one of 51 grantees from a pool of more than 150 applicants around the globe. LinkedIn publicly released the list of grant-winners last month.
Since receiving the grant, Saxena, along with his high school-aged co-founders and Eduko team, has been using the grant money to further develop Eduko's digital platform and increase its marketing efforts. The site now has over 100 users throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and India, and continues to expand.
As Eduko's mission statement explains, "1.3 million students drop out of high schools annually in the United State alone ... 40 percent of them attribute the dropping out to the lack of parental support or because of failing classes. We believe this is a solvable problem."
Information about Eduko is at edukofoundation.org.